Stretching is not only beneficial, it’s extremely important for athletes prior to exercise. First and foremost, stretching prevents injury to your muscles. Making sure you’re muscles are warmed up and ready to go cannot guarantee exclusion from injury but minimizes your chances. Stretching also can improve your flexibility. Being flexible makes you more versatile as an athlete and allows you to be able to perform exercises such as yoga. Apart from the physical benefits stretching provides, it also can relieve stress. Stretching can be a relaxing relief from a hectic day and can calm your entire body.
Warm up before stretching. (A warm up should be an easy exercise such as 10min of walking to get blood flowing to all parts of your muscles)
Most stretches should be held for 20-30 seconds.
Make sure you are breathing normally while stretching.
Never bounce or perform sudden movements when stretching, this could lead to injury.
Never hold a stretch past a feeling of mild discomfort.
Don’t try to alter breathing in accordance to how long you are holding pose. (Holding your breath can stop oxygen from flowing to all your muscles)